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Personal Training Systems In 3 Steps

A Personal Training Systems Post By Pat Rigsby

Most fitness pros start their own fitness business wanting to impact more people, make more money and enjoy more freedom.

They want to be their own boss and do things on their own terms. Unfortunately, most who do make the leap to owning their own fitness business often find themselves working 14 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week and never seem to have enough time to do everything nor enough money to hire someone to do it for them.

So what’s the secret to breaking this vicious cycle?

Start putting personal training systems in place.

But most fitness pros think that creating systems is some really overwhelming task.

That really couldn’t be further from the truth.

Really, a system is just a step-by-step process that you follow to complete a particular task so that you get a specific outcome.

Don’t you already do this by designing programs for your clients instead of just letting them do whatever they want?

So instead of reinventing the wheel each time you need to do something, you have a written checklist of steps that you (or your staff) can follow to complete the task “your way”. By creating personal training systems, you can easily teach someone else how to do what you do, then hand off the tasks so you have more time to focus on more important things.

personal training systems checklist

Really, running a personal training business not based on systems is the same as training clients without designed programs. Sure, you could probably wing it yourself and deliver an ‘ok’ outcome, but you probably wouldn’t be as effective as you could if you had done an assessment and designed a program – and you certainly couldn’t depend on having someone else train the client at the level of service that you’d want to deliver.

But if you design a program for a client and put that program in the hands of a qualified coach, you stand a good chance of them actually delivering the service as you would expect it to be provided.

Who Can Personal Training Systems Help?

The short answer is every fitness business owner. Imagine having the freedom to take a week vacation or deal with a major life event and having the peace of mind that your fitness business will be able to run smoothly in your absence.

Too often, you are your business – you wear all the hats. If you don’t do it, it can’t or won’t get done. Personal training systems allow you to easily teach others to do many of your daily tasks so you don’t have to worry about them.

If any of these scenarios sound like you, personal training systems are a must:

  • You have too many projects and not enough time.It seems like you’re always working and never making much progress. You’re not able to do all the things that you want to do for your business or your family. Eventually you start feeling burned out.Personal training systems will allow you to focus on high return activities and delegate the rest, freeing up more of your time and allowing you to put your best effort forth on the tasks you perform.
  • You aren’t getting consistently successful outcomes. Maybe your closing percentage is down.  Maybe your disappointed with the number of people that actually come in versus the volume of calls that you receive.  If you create fitness business systems you can make each time you perform a task your best effort.
  • You’re fitness business is growing too fast. It’s a good problem to have – but it’s still a problem.  Maybe you just had a Groupon hit and you’re overwhelmed with leads or you’ve just really gained traction in your market.  Getting an influx of new business is good, but it means that you run out of time to do everything you need to do and you need to hire help. Personal training systems can make that hiring and staffing process a lot faster and smoother.

If you ever plan to grow your fitness business beyond just yourself, you must document the steps you take to serve your clients and run your business.

How To Create Personal Training Systems

Creating your personal training systems doesn’t have to be complicated. Using my “Do-Document-Refine” approach you can start with whatever you have to accomplish today or this week and document the steps you take to get things done and before you know it you’ll have effective systems in place.

Do – Allocate a few minutes after every key task that you have to perform today.  Opening the gym, answering the phone, performing an assessment, delivering a session… all the key tasks.

Then do those tasks.

Document – In that time that you’ve allocated after performing the task, document what you did and the outcome that you got. You can document it in a simple step-by-step checklist, on a camtasia video or with a flip cam if you want.  You can have an employee or an intern follow you through the task and document what you did.

The key is documenting every detail of every step that you took to complete the task to get the desired outcome.

Refine – Now clean up your checklist.  Make sure that everything is explained in a clear fashion that someone other than you can understand so that they could complete the same task and get the same outcome.

You can test this by asking someone to follow your system and evaluate them and the outcome they get.

Once you have your basic system created – understand that it should always be evolving.  If you find a better way to do a task, update your personal training system.  Test certain steps in the system and see if they produce a better result.

You can then compile all your systems into a hard copy or online operations manual that can serve as the foundation of your staff training. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to start documenting your step-by-step systems for all your personal training business operations.

Personal training systems are great for saving you time and money. When you stop to think about how many hours each year you spend hunting down missing information or important documents, performing $9.00 an hour tasks, doing things that you don’t really enjoy doing, you realize how much wasted time is costing you. With personal training systems in place, you’ll start immediately making your time more valuable and enjoying more freedom.


Dedicated to your success,



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